Thjnk - known until summer 2012 as KemperTrautmann - is a leading agency in Germany, widely admired for its creative expertise. In 2011, it was one of the world's top five agencies by awards won. In 2014 it was Agency of the Year in the Euro Effie Awards. Headquartered in Hamburg, Thjnk also has offices in Berlin, Duesseldorf and Munich, as well as a small collection of specialist subsidiaries, including design shop Loved. Leo's Thjnk Tank is a joint venture with Leo Burnett, formed in 2014 to handle the local McDonald's account. In 2016, the agency also launched a dedicated unit for German engineering giant ThyssenKrupp under the name Bobby & Carl; and a new joint venture was launched in 2018 with US agency Optimist to handle the global Skoda account. A New York office of Thjnk opened in 2015, followed by a Zurich outpost in 2016. The business was founded in 2004 by Andre Kemper and Michael Trautmann, previously colleagues at another renowned independent, Springer & Jacoby. Trautmann also spent some time as global marketing director of Audi, whose local account was among the agency's founding clients. (His brother Andreas was for several years CEO of McCann Germany). Kemper and Trautmann began moves to dissolve their partnership in 2012, with Armin Jochum and Karen Heumann joining the agency as additional partners. That prompted a name-change to the initials of the four partners (THJ & K). Kemper resigned from the business in 2014, transferring his shares (as well as his initial K) to the three remaining partners. After years of independence, Thjnk finally accepted a buyout from WPP in summer 2017, becoming a standalone agency in the British group's agency portfolio. That prompted Trautmann's amicable departure in 2018. The two vacant partner positions were filled by Ulrich Pallas in 2017, and by Horst Wagner, former chairman of Publicis Germany, in 2019.
Capsule checked 20th July 2020
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Who are the competitors of Thjnk? see Germany's Leading Advertising Agencies
Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Jul 2018: Ads of the Week "Good For You. And For Your Region". When it comes to supermarket advertising, the simple approach often works best. Here's a fine spot from WPP-owned Thjnk for REWE, one of Germany's biggest grocery chains: 'Good For You. And Your Region'. Lovely photography is enhanced by some very clever digital effects to blend the different shots into one another. That sweater-to-forest wipe is especially good. The idea is to give a special push to Germany's regional producers; that's an approach that has long been productive for France's Leclerc, and has recently been adopted by Morrisons of the UK as well.
Adbrands Social Media 11th Jun 2018: "Welcome to the 8th Dimension". German agency Thjnk was responsible for this luscious piece of auto-porn for the launch of Audi's completely new Q8 SUV. What a gorgeous piece of work. And the ad's pretty good too! Even non-petrolheads will find it hard not to salivate over the car when it's presented like this, in a mouth-watering orange finish. Normally we resist car ads that put all their energy into showing the product, the product and nothing but the product. But we'll make an exception in this case.
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Feb 2018: Ads of the Week: "Valentine's Fairytale". When you consider the avalanche of ads issued to celebrate holidays like Halloween or Christmas (or even Super Bowl Sunday) it's a little surprising that so few advertisers want to mark Valentine's Day. Here's the best of the handful we've seen this year, from Thjnk for the US arm of car hire company Sixt. As many of us will recognise, there's an age you get to when you start wondering what ever happened to that long lost love from your youth. Here's one woman's journey. Stick with it for an unexpected laugh-out-loud punchline.
Adbrands Weekly Update 13th Jul 2017: WPP added to its portfolio with the acquisition of Thjnk, one of Germany's most admired independents, named Agency of the Year this year by trade paper W&V. The negotiations were handled in strict secrecy by none other than Sir Martin Sorrell himself. No price tag has been disclosed, and Thjnk is expected to continue as a standalone unit within the group alongside its major international networks and local resource Scholz & Friends. Founding partners Michael Trautmann, Karen Heumann, Armin Jochum and Ulrich Pallas will continue to lead the business. The deal represents a significant win for WPP in Germany. The only potential problem would be the future of Leo's Thjnk Tank, a joint venture with Publicis which handles the local McDonald's account.
Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Oct 2015: Ads of the Week: "Rainmaker?". Volkswagen's Audi brand hopes to power on through the emissions scandal with this spectacular new spot from its German agency, indie Thjnk. The theme is once again the weather - see, it's not just the British who are obsessed with the elements - following up an earlier rain-related campaign. Great ad, and by the standards of most German advertising, truly ahead of its class.
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